Would the S.744 Amnesty Benefit the Social Security System?

At the request of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued an impact assessment of the Gang of Eight’s amnesty legislation, S.744. The report, issued May 8, found that “Overall, we anticipate that the net effect of this bill on the long-range OASDI [Old Age Survivor, and Disability Insurance] actuarial balance will be positive.”

This will no doubt be touted by the bill’s sponsors as an argument for adopting their bill. However, the positive balance is an illusion based on the assumptions used in the analysis and, especially in the fact that the analysis is not “long-range” at all. It is only projected to 2024.

Among the questionable assumptions underlying the SSA’s analysis is that the legislation would reduce illegal immigration and, thereby, result in a large increase in Social Security tax collections from both workers and employers. The estimate also contemplates a large increase in workers paying into the system as a result of new legal immigration measures. That flow of newly arriving immigrants is larger than the flow of formerly illegal workers joining the program, and, therefore, most of the projected increased contributions will come from new legal immigrants.

The greatest deception, however, is that the projection does not extend to when those same workers begin receiving payments from SSA. Therefore, it ignores the fact that low wage workers – a large majority of illegal alien workers – withdraw benefits from the system in excess of contributions. Thus, if SSA were to project the impact of the amnesty legislation over a true “long-range” it would have to acknowledge that the impact would be negative.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


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  3. avatar

    I wonder if anybody has done a study on the fewer unemployment benefits that will have to be paid if we start enforcing our current immigration laws and fully enact e-verify, so that jobs currently held by illegals can be filled by unemployed American citizens. Also the increased spending that would take place here in this country, instead of alot of money being sent back to their home country’s by illegals.

  4. avatar

    Social Security Was Just Fine Before It Was Sucked Dry

    Now the same group that sucked it dry [don’t depend on it] want to butcher ax what’s left.

  5. avatar

    Is there nothing they will not lie about? This “impact assessment” only does projections to 2024? That is 11 years away, a relative blink of an eye when talking SS. How is that “long range” when most of the people amnestied will not start drawing benefits until past that year.

  6. avatar

    As I recall, Rep. Lamar Smith had the Social Security Administration run the figures on the cost of amnesty last time around, when there were “only” 12 million illegal aliens (how DID we “lost” a million illegal aliens between 2006 and now?). The report showed that each legalized illegal alien would cost SS a NET $15,000 or so, based on the assumption that most legalized illegal aliens would be unskilled, uneducated low wage workers and those workers claim far more in relation to their contributions than higher wage workers get.

    By the way, I can’t help but wonder if the Chief Actuary figured in the cost of untangling the mess that having 7 million illegal aliens using stolen SS numbers is causing? As it is, SS policy is that legalized workers can claim credit for the work they did while they were here illegally. That will be a bureaucratic tangle that will take years to undo. Just who would pay for all this under this bill?